What a deluded, misguided club we have become
ARSENAL 0 BLACKBURN 1
FROM GOODPLAYA AT TEHE EMRIATES
THIS was our chance.
The only trophy we had a realistic chance of winning. And what did we do? We turned our nose up in contempt at it. What a deluded, misguided club we have become. Who the hell do we think we are to think the FA Cup is beneath us, to put out a shadow team and to put in a shadow performance?
I honestly think that as a football club we’ve completely lost our way. What I think has happened is this: we’ve allowed ourselves to think that financial success and football success are the same thing. So we’ve allowed ourselves to think that because the financial implications of Champions League qualification and progression dwarf the financial offerings of an FA Cup win, that should dictate 100% our footballistic priorities.
This is a fatal mistake. You can’t rewrite the carnal desires of a football fan or player. Yes, we relish evenings such as Munich on Tuesday but achieving fourth place will never ever bring people out onto the streets of Islington in the same way winning an actual trophy always does. What is so galling is not that we’re not winning them, but the fact that we appear not to consider winning them important. That I find hard to accept.
And what an opportunity this was. You know had we won the FA Cup I honestly think it alone would have bought the current regime two, maybe even three years breathing space. Why? Because actually I think that with the exception of a few professional Wenger haters, the rest of the Arsenal fanbase would like nothing more than to see us succeed again with him at the helm, to the extent that if anything we’d allow ourselves to be swept away by just a solitary domestic cup.
The irony of our team selection was that seemingly the only thing that stopped him resting the whole team was his own failures in the transfer market. So Giroud played because we literally have no other strikers, Vermaelen because we have only three usable central defenders and Szczesny because we don’t have a proper second choice keeper. Monreal played because the other left-back is injured and only in the case of Arteta (who could have been replaced by Ramsey) could you say there was an alternative.
Yes, we were unlucky in some senses but you sometimes are in football and you should be doing everything you can to mitigate that misfortune. We didn’t – neither in our team selection nor in our approach to the game.
I honestly can’t remember leaving an Arsenal game angrier than I was yesterday.